How to master a good night’s sleep and the products that can help
If you spent last night tossing and turning, you’re not alone.
Research A study by Ipsos and the Policy Institute at King’s College London found that one in three adults in the UK slept fewer hours and were more disturbed at night after two years of living on Covid.
Whether it’s anxiety, poor diet, or stress related to your work or family life, several factors can impact your ability to drift off into peaceful sleep. In women, for example, sleep problems often begin or worsen around menopause, when hot flashes and other symptoms prevent them from getting a restful night.
Although we all suffer from the occasional sleepless night, when insomnia persists it can become a real health problem. Lisa Artis, Deputy Executive Director of sleep charity, explains: “Like good diet and exercise, sleep plays a vital role in keeping us healthy and happy. We need a good night’s sleep to ensure we’re feeling refreshed, thinking brightly, and generally giving us the appetite and enthusiasm to get the most out of everyday life.
So where do you start to sleep better?
To help, we spoke to three sleep and wellness experts to get their top tips for mastering a good night’s sleep and the products that can help, from eye masks to comfy bedding.
1. Room comfort like no other
Part of a good night’s sleep is being comfortable in bed, whether that means making sure you sleep on a comfortable and supportive mattress, using the right bedding, or wearing comfortable sleepwear.
Lisa Artis, argues, “Use the right tog duvet for the time of year. It is not uncommon to have a winter and summer duvet and to use them accordingly.
“If you’re not comfortable in your bed – because you’re too hot or too cold – your sleep won’t be as deep, you’ll move around more and you’ll wake up tired and helpless.
“Choosing the right bedding fabric is essential for restful sleep and cotton is often a preferred choice for bedding and sleepwear because it is breathable, wicks away moisture and stays comfortably cool against the skin.”
To help you Good Housekeeping, we’ve tried the best mattress toppers for every sleeping style as well as the most comfortable pillows for a good night’s sleep. You can also check out our roundup of our favorite Egyptian cotton bedding sets to recreate that hotel-chic look in your own home.
2. Declutter to sleep better
Your bedroom is your sanctuary. This is the space where you spend seven to nine hours taking care of yourself while sleeping.
Dr. Kat Lederle, Founder of the Sleep Therapy Platform sleepinessexplains, “Make your bedroom the place you look forward to – decorate it in a style you love to help you relax, and invest in quality bedding that helps keep you cool (but not cold) in the morning. night.”
“A messy room creates a messy mind,” recognizes Lisa Artis.
She explains, “Don’t use your bedroom as a dumping ground for the rest of the house. It should be a warm and inviting space, so decorate your room with beautiful things such as photographs of loved ones, artwork you love, plants, and flowers.
You do not know where to start ? Check out these tips from three decluttering experts.
3. Create a relaxation routine
We all lead incredibly busy lives and having a relaxation routine can help promote sleep.
Dr. Maja Schaedel, co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic, explains: “We need to slow down our heart rate and our muscles to relax. This usually happens naturally during the evening when our levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, start to rise; however, we often “fight” this natural slowing process, especially if our mind is alert and engaged.
“We can help our mind and body relax by making sure we follow a good relaxation routine before bed, such as a hot bath, listening to relaxing music, or reading.
“It can also be helpful to set aside 15-20 minutes earlier in the evening to write down and ‘anticipate’ any thoughts and concerns that may arise during the night. In this way, we can begin to teach ourselves that night is not for engaging in our thoughts and that it is a daytime activity.
Dr. Kat agrees: “For your brain and body to fall asleep, it takes time to let go of the day. Sitting down in the evening with a book you like to read or a cup of tea can serve as a signal to the body that it can slow down now and prepare for rest mode.
4. Ban screens
Anything entertaining or work-related, such as televisions, computers and tablets, game consoles and cell phones, should be turned off or, better yet, banned from the room, according to Lisa Artis.
She says: “Not only will they keep you from falling asleep as they stimulate the brain, but they can become disruptive at inopportune times and wake you up.
“Additionally, the blue light emitted by these devices disrupts your body’s circadian rhythms by suppressing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain, which is what we need to be sleepy.”
5. Invest in blackout curtains or a sleep mask
In the dark, your body releases a hormone called melatonin that relaxes your body and helps you fall asleep, says Lisa Artis.
She adds: “Light suppresses melatonin. Invest in a lamp or dimmer if you want to read in bed. Blue light also inhibits nocturnal melatonin secretion, so turn off computers, cell phones, etc. And if streetlights or even early morning light wake you up, hang thicker curtains, install blackout blinds, or use an eye mask.
6. Spend time in daylight
It may sound crazy, but increased exposure to daylight can actually increase sleep efficiency.
Dr Kat Lederle says, “Spend time in daylight every day, ideally in the morning. If you can’t get out, see if you can stand near a well-lit window. Or get a box to light to increase light levels in the morning to help your biological clock know that the day has begun.”
7. Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake
All three experts agree that you need to be careful with your caffeine and alcohol intake, especially if you suffer from insomnia.
“If you drink coffee too late in the day, it can make it harder to fall asleep. Stop taking caffeine after 3 p.m. Stay hydrated, especially when the weather gets warmer,” says Dr. Kat Lederle.
While Lisa Artis adds: “Too much alcohol, especially late at night, can disrupt sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep at first, but will interrupt your sleep later at night and rob us of one of our most satisfying types of sleep, when dreams occur. Plus, you’ll wake up dehydrated and need to go to the bathroom!”
8. Go to bed when you’re sleepy
“If you go to bed too early when you’re not really sleepy, chances are you’ll have trouble falling asleep. Part of that is because you’re not building up enough ‘body pressure’. sleep'”, according to Dr. Maja Schaedel.
She says, “My number one sleep tip is to only go to bed when you’re really sleepy and about to fall asleep, not before or after.
“If you’re someone who tends to fall asleep on the couch while watching TV, it’s worth bearing in mind that it can have a huge impact on your sleep when you go to bed.
“Instead, try to stay awake and alert when watching TV, then go to bed when you can’t keep your eyes open. If it’s early evening and you’re not feeling quite ready for bed, try stretching your body or walking around a bit to make sure you don’t fall asleep on the couch.”